In 2007 Ray Watkin Strange made another gift to the Woodson Research Center of an oil painting by Frederic W. Browne, framed in 1917. Painted in the impressionist style, the view of a French village, like many of his works of the period, evokes a restful vision of the country washed in a silvery gray light.
Born in Belfast, Ireland, Frederic Browne grew up in Philadelphia, where he studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. In 1911 he went to France and attended the Académies Julian, Colarossi, and de la Grande Chaumière. He toured France, Sicily, and Tunis during the four years he studied in Paris, returned to the U.S for a short period, and revisited France in 1917, working there for another four years. In 1925 Browne accepted a position as an instructor in Architectural drawing and painting at the Rice Institute; in 1935 he joined the art faculty at the University of Houston, where he remained until he retired.